Religion: Luther

Lutherans were having a dreadful row over nothing less than the soundness of Martin Luther himself. Last month, in the Christian Century, Lutheran Martin Schroeder, onetime Nebraska legislator, commemorated the 400th anniversary of Luther's death by echoing London's "Gloomy Dean" William R. Inge, who in 1944 declared that not Hitler but Luther was Germany's "worst evil genius." Charged Inge: "Lutheranism is essentially German. . . . It worships a God who is neither just nor merciful."

"These are acid words and blasphemy to Lutheran ears," admitted Schroeder—but added that he agreed. Luther, he said,

1) made the church servile to the state,

2) taught...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!